Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Tariq Ramadan and the Charlie Hebdo problem

What is left to be said about the Charlie Hebdo crisis that unfolded in Paris earlier this month?  Perhaps not much, but it won't stop me.

So a gang of muslim cowards hiding behind their semi-automatic weapons kills twelve innocent people in an office and runs away.  This was somehow excused by the victims' 'crime' of depicting and ridiculing someone elses's non-existent prophet.  Few people recognise that nothing was written about Muhammed until about 200 years after he is supposed to have lived.  This makes his historical existence even less convincing than that for Jesus!

What's more, in what civilised part of the world does non-violent satire excuse a violent response?  

On the day after the shootings, BBC Radio 4 interviewed the 'islamic scholar' from Oxford, Tariq Ramadan.  I have heard him speak live and been amazed (and almost impressed) at how he twists sentences to convey a message that both Muslims and infidels are meant to think is wise and more-to-the-point 'harmless'.  This time takes the biscuit.  OK, he gently condemned the violence in Paris, but within a minute or two he was claiming that we should all feel responsible for what has happened.  Our government's involvement in Iraq - in his mind at least - has something to do with the cowards killing the journalists.

Call me naive if you like, but I thought the shootings were about the magazine being satirical and about the way the 'religion of permanent offence' chooses to try to dictate what free people in free countries are allowed to say about imaginary beings.  It was about islamic intolerance of the principles behind human rights and human dignity

Ramadan went on to claim that we're "all on the same side".

Let me assure you, Professor Ramadan, that I feel no responsibility for what has been done this month, and that I am on the same side as you on absolutely nothing of any consequence at all.  You can't excuse the violence in Paris.  They were islamic thugs behaving inexcusably by any objective standard.

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